How Do I Determine the Quality of Essential Oils?

How Do I Determine the Quality of Essential Oils?

By Cynthia Burgette

All articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.

Essential Oils come from all over the world, suppliers and companies usually purchase oils from farmers or wholesalers that they have come to trust. The quality of essential oils can vary from crop to crop in the same location. There are a number of ways that essential oils can become compromised. Here are a few ways EO’s are affected- adverse growing conditions, drought, plant harvest, distillation, manufacturing, distribution, and storage. The following are some different categories that adversely affect EO’s.

Plants: The quality of EO’s can be negatively impacted by using pesticides and other chemicals, rainfall, soil conditions, altitude, and poor differentiating of the plant species.

Processing: Many EO’s can be found everywhere. Many of them on the market are not suitable for clinical use.  So many EO’s are adulterated or diluted to enable the buyer to purchase them cheaper. The quality of the EO might be compromised.

Packaging & Handling: Chemical Degradation occurs when the EO’s are exposed to light, heat, and oxygen. Citrus EO’s are susceptible to oxidation.

Storing: Not storing EO’s in dark glass containers will lead to weaker quality, the bottle lids are loose, and not storing them in a cool dry place.

Finding and purchasing quality EO’s is difficult. Find a reputable source that will sell good quality EO’s, especially if you are going to be using them for health related purposes. Essential Oils are placed into two categories by the FDA, either cosmetic or drugs. FDA makes regulating decisions on a case by case basis. Most EO’s are not considered drugs by official agencies. This makes them available to anyone without a script. Make sure you read the label and any information that is included with your purchase.

essential oil quality


Some good points to think about:

A.     Is the Latin name of the plant provided?  There are several different species of one kind of plant.

B.      Is the name of country of origin included? Quality varies per region and country that the plant is grown.

C.      Purity concerns- Is there a clarifying word on the label that will indicate that the oil is 100%. Just because it says organic or therapeutic does not mean it is a 100% Essential Oil. Some companies use the word therapeutic loosely, their way of saying that their plants are carefully chosen and tested for those practicing holistic aromatherapy.

D.      Cost Comparable- Make sure that when purchasing EO’s consideration is given to whether or not it is the real EO. When an EO is listed for a cheaper price the quality of the EO could be weaker.

E.       Smell- Does it smell like it should or not.

F.       Is there information about the oil being wild crafted or organic- Most EO’s sold in the US do not have to be certified as to their organic status. Confirm with the manufacturer that the EO that is being purchased is what you are looking for.

When selecting an EO to purchase, get as much information as possible on the product and the company that is selling the EO. The researches will aide you in purchasing the right EO for your projects, business, or personal use.

Site Source: University of Minnesota-

How Do I Determine the Quality of Essential Oils?

Site Source:

Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils is a Potentially Misleading Claim


Cindi Burgette is a student at Heart of Herbs. She is currently enrolled in Master Clinical Aromatherapy, Green Spirit Intensive Herbal Training and Heart of Herbs Master Herbalist Certification. She is a Mother, Grandmother, and wife residing in Kentucky. The majority of her career has been in sales focused in the food industry. Her ambition is to continue to better herself each and every day. Her passion is life and people, especially her family and friends.  Her desire to help people has grown over the years that it now has become a life decision that she is pursuing. Her goal is to have her own wellness practice.


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Articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
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